I love the sound and feel of Radiohead's Kid A... what's the best program to get electronic beats and make loops/samples, etc. similar to that album, or even Thrice's song "Digital Sea"?

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Well let's see.

Everything in its Right Place: Thom plays an electric piano, similar to a Fender Rhodes. Jonny works with a Korg KAOSS sampler or Thom's vocal track fed through some guitar effects.

Kid A: Thom's voice is obviously filtered. It sounds like real drums, though. The melody is played by some sort of synth with a delay line, it doesn't sound like a real instrument to me.

The National Anthem: Pretty straightforward. Bass, drums, horn section.

How To Disappear Completely: Most of the weird sounds come from Jonny playing the Ondes Martenot.

Treefingers: That's Ed strumming some guitar chords. The signal was obviously patched through countless effects processors in the studio.

Optimistic: This is a pretty rock-like song. Nothing special here.

In Limbo: Lots of delay on Thom's voice at the start. Heavy reverb as well. Don't know how they did the cool ending though.

Idioteque: It was built off a sample of a beat that the band came across. They use a pretty basic synthesizer.

Morning Bell: Another synth-melody at the start and throughout. Some cool guitar tones at the end. Nothing too outstanding.

Motion Picture Soundtrack: An organ, chimes, voice.

Radiohead tracks are made in the studio. They buy as many effects processors as possible and put them to good use. Vintage synthesizers from Moog and Roland and the Roland TR-series drum machines are also hot items. If you don't want to spend, there is software to emulate this stuff, and it's all free.

Check out Hydrogen drum machine, Zynaddsubfx and AmSynth.
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